What Are Advantages and Weaknesses of a Capture/Playback Tool?

There are many various automated testing programs meant for different testing activities on the market.

Capture/playback tools are among the most commonly applied during mobile application testing, desktop testing or web site testing. They are often used during functional testing.

Capture/playback mechanism notes every keystroke and mouse motion of a tester working with the software.

On the basis of these records the instrument creates code that can reproduce the tester’s actions. Testing programs written in such way can be useful for some testing activities. But in most cases scripts written by the instruments must be altered in order to become appropriate for the project.

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Testing Programs Created by a Capture/Playback Instrument Have Certain Weaknesses:

  • often they are difficult to maintain;
  • often they are not reusable;
  • they use data entered by a tester, such data may be difficult to code and hard to change if needed.

A software testing company does not recommend to rely only on this method performing web site testing desktop testing or mobile testing. Automation of many tests requires other approaches.

It is known that testing efforts are most effective if black-box testing, gray-box testing and white-box testing are combined. It is impossible to automate all the tests applying only capture/playback tool. Besides some tests it is impossible to automate and they must be executed by hand.